Foreign inflow to capital market gathers pace

By Charumini de Silva

With foreign capital inflow gathering pace during the past couple of months alongside expected debt and equity listings scheduled to take off in the next two months, the country’s capital market is hopeful that the positive trend will continue to end the year on a high note.

Govt. revenue from CTC up 12% to Rs. 49 b in 1H

The Government enjoyed a 12% gain in revenue contribution from the Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (CTC) to record Rs. 49 billion during the first half but analysts warned that the steady income stream would be at stake if the State went ahead with its overambitious move to up taxation of cigarettes to 90% of stick price.

US Asst. Secretary Rivkin to arrive in SL

US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Charles H. Rivkin, will visit Sri Lanka and Burma between 8 and 12 August, the US Embassy said in a statement.

Assistant Secretary Rivkin will lead the State Department’s ‘American Innovation Roadshow’ to Rangoon and Naypyidaw from 8-10August in Burma. This trip is part of an ongoing series of State Department Innovation Roadshows across Asia that were launched by US State Secretary John Kerry and are part of US-ASEAN Connect.

Export woes continue

Mirroring lacklustre international commodity prices, Sri Lanka’s trade deficit grew 15.7% to $ 814 million from $ 703 million in May 2015 as exports dropped by 12% reflecting contraction in all major sectors as imports edged up marginally by 0.03% to $1.59 billion, the Central Bank said yesterday in its latest external performance report, which also rounded up the deficit of the first five months to $ 3.4 billion, from $ 3.38 billion the previous year.

President calls for SME support

President Maithripala Sirisena and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake share a lighter moment on stage during

the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit yesterday.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday made an impassioned plea of support for small and medium enterprises as their development would directly improve the livelihoods of middle class Sri Lankans and called on his Finance Minister to create avenues to support private sector investment including providing tax concessions where possible.

Sri Lanka establishes formal  diplomatic relations with  Monaco

Sri Lanka and the Principality of Monaco have established formal diplomatic relations, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced.

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Dr. Rohan Perera and his Monaco counterpart Isabelle Picco signed the Joint Communiqué on 26 July establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York.

Source: http://www.ft.lk/article/558937/Sri-Lanka- establishes-formal- diplomatic-relations- with-Monaco

Microsoft wins landmark appeal over seizure of foreign emails

Reuters: A federal appeals court on Thursday said the US government cannot force Microsoft Corp and other companies to turn over customer emails stored on servers outside the United States.

The 3-0 decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan is a defeat for the US Department of Justice and a victory for privacy advocates and for technology companies offering cloud computing and other services around the world. Circuit Judge Susan Carney said communications held by US service providers on servers outside the United States are beyond the reach of domestic search warrants issued under the Stored Communications Act, a 1986 federal law.

Brexit to pose challenges to Sri Lanka: Moody’s

Any severe and prolonged market volatility resulting from Brexit could affect heighten balance of payment pressures for Sri Lanka (B1 negative), the global rating agency, Moody’s said in a report released yesterday.

The Moody’s Investors Service says that the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union will not have a significant credit impact on Asia Pacific sovereigns, but dependence on external finance poses a vulnerability for some countries.

Moody’s conclusions are contained in its just-released report on the impact of Brexit on the Asia Pacific region, entitled “Sovereigns -Brexit and Asia Pacific: Limited Direct Credit Impact; Some Sovereigns Exposed to Market Volatility.”